The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: XenoPort, Biodel and AbbVie

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - May 26, 2016 - announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include XenoPort ( XNPT ), Biodel ( BIOD ) and AbbVie ( ABBV ) .

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Biotech Stock Roundup: Xenoport Soars on Acquisition Deal

Acquisitions and deals are picking up pace in the biotech sector with quite a few announcements being made over the last few days. XenoPort ( XNPT ) agreed to be acquired by Arbor Pharmaceuticals and saw its shares shoot up on the news. Meanwhile, specialty biopharma company Biodel ( BIOD ) will be combining with Albireo.

Apart from this, AbbVie ( ABBV ) came out with encouraging interim data on its recently in-licensed immunology drug.

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. XenoPort's shares shot up 56.4% on news that the company has agreed to be acquired by Arbor Pharmaceuticals for a total equity value of about $467 million - a 60% premium to XenoPort's closing share price on May 20. Arbor should be better-positioned to market XenoPort's Horizant, currently approved for restless legs syndrome and postherpetic neuralgia (Read more: Xenoport to be Acquired by Arbor Pharmaceuticals; Stock Up ).

2. Specialty biopharma company Biodel is combining with Albireo Limited, a privately held biopharmaceutical company to form an entity that will focus on orphan pediatric liver diseases and other liver and gastrointestinal diseases and disorders.

Lead pipeline candidate, A4250, is in a phase II study in children with cholestatic liver disease. The target is to develop A4250 for the treatment of progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis, an orphan pediatric liver disease with no approved drugs.

Albireo has another pipeline candidate, elobixibat, which is currently being evaluated in a phase III program by a Japanese licensee for the treatment of chronic constipation.

3. AbbVie's recently in-licensed biologic compound, risankizumab, fared well in a phase II, proof-of concept study in patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease. About twice as many patients on risankizumab achieved clinical remission compared to placebo after 12 weeks. The interim results indicate that selective blockade of IL-23 with risankizumab could present patients with a new treatment option. Moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease patients who have failed anti-TNF therapy currently have limited treatment options. The study will continue up to 52 weeks.

AbbVie had licensed risankizumab from Boehringer Ingelheim with the intention of boosting its immunology pipeline. Risankizumab is currently in phase III development for psoriasis.

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XENOPORT INC (XNPT): Free Stock Analysis Report

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ABBVIE INC (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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